FAQ Page

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Why should I see a rehabilitation physician?

The rehabilitation physician will make an accurate diagnosis, calculate the physical and emotional barriers to recovery and develop a treatment and rehabilitation plan to optimize your performance. Most musculoskeletal conditions do not require surgery, but if surgery is required, the rehabilitation physician can determine the type and timing of the surgery required and make the appropriate referral to the best surgeon to perform the surgery necessary.

Is a physician referral required in order to make an appointment?

No. We accept new patients without a physician referral on a case-by-case basis. However, we require all of our patients to be under the care of a Primary Care Physician for general health maintenance, such as a Family Practice or Internal Medicine doctor.

How easy is it to get an appointment at Redding Spine and Sports Medicine?

We make every effort to see you as soon as possible. Once you are an established patient, it is very easy to make follow-up appointments that will fit into your busy schedule. We are open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday, but may see patients after-hours if necessary, by appointment only.

Call Our Office for Information or to Schedule an Appointment:

(530) 244-4608
Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm PST 

What can I expect at my first visit?

All new patients are required to fill out forms prior to their initial visit. We try to send these forms to you so you can complete them at home prior to coming in. However, if you do not receive the paperwork in time, please arrive at least 20 minutes early to fill them out. You may also download the forms from our website prior to your appointment.  A complete list of your current medications should be included. After the paperwork is completed, you will meet with one of our staff doctors for a thorough consultation, health history and physical examination to determine the nature of your problem and what the best course of treatment would be. Additional diagnostic testing may be recommended if necessary. The initial consultation will take between 30 to 60 minutes depending on the complexity of your condition.

Will all of my visits take place in the 1945 Shasta Street office?

All patient visits, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies) and most peripheral joint injections are done at our office. Spinal procedures such as epidural steroid injections are done at a local hospital or surgery center. Currently, we are able to do these procedures at Patients’ Hospital, Court Street Surgery Center and Mercy Outpatient Surgery Center. We also have hospital privileges at Mercy Medical Center, Shasta Regional Medical Center and Patients’ Hospital.

Can I use x-rays or other tests from a previous visit to another doctor or hospital?

Provided the studies are recent, of good diagnostic quality and provide the information we need to care for you safely and effectively, you may use previous imaging studies from another office or facility. Please notify our staff prior to your appointment if you have studies that we may need to request. You may also bring copies of your diagnostic tests if you have them.

If I had an MRI, when do I get my results?

Your MRI results will be discussed at your scheduled follow-up visit, and any questions you may have will be answered. If your MRI results include a finding that requires urgent medical attention, we will contact you immediately.

Can I get my test results over the phone?

Because each individual’s medical condition is a private matter that requires individual care, test results are usually not provided over the phone. Your test results will be discussed with you at your follow-up visit. However, if you find that your condition is changing or worsening, contact our office to let us know and we will take appropriate and immediate action.

Do I need a driver for a cortisone shot or other Ultrasound-Guided injection done at the office?

No. A driver is only required for spinal injections done at the hospital or surgery center.  If there are special circumstances where a driver is recommended for an injection done at the office, our staff will notify you when scheduling this.

Is surgery usually required for disc herniations?

No. Disc herniations rarely require surgery. When they are in the lumbar spine (low back), they can be treated without surgery greater than 90% of the time. Disc herniations in the cervical spine (neck) can be treated non-surgically 80% of the time.

Can exercise help prevent back pain?

Yes. Many scientific studies have validated that specific spine stabilizing exercises are effective treatments for a variety of spinal conditions. These exercises can also help prevent recurrences of these conditions. Also, education regarding proper posture and body mechanics has been shown to reduce injuries and disability.

Who needs physical therapy?

This needs to be determined on an individual basis by a health care provider, but patients who can typically benefit from physical therapy are those who would benefit from strengthening or increasing flexibility of injured body parts. Physical therapy also helps with correcting poor posture, which is a problem that leads to many musculoskeletal conditions. Finally, patients who have had surgery usually need physical therapy to help restore function, strength and range of motion, as well as to minimize scar tissue, which can decrease performance and function of the area that was operated on.

What type of training do rehabilitation physicians have?

To become a rehabilitation physician, individuals must graduate from medical school followed by four additional years of postdoctoral training in a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency. This includes one year developing fundamental clinical skills and three additional years of training in the full scope of the specialty. There are currently 80 accredited residency programs in physical medicine and rehabilitation in the United States. Many rehabilitation physicians complete fellowship training in a specific area of the specialty such as sports medicine.

Is board certification important for rehabilitation physicians?

To become board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, rehabilitation physicians are required to take both a written and oral examination administered by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR). If your doctor is board certified, it means he or she is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care through a rigorous, voluntary commitment to lifelong learning through board certification. Board certified physicians participate in an ongoing process of continuing education to keep current with the latest advances in medical science and technology as well as the best practices in patient safety, quality healthcare and creating a responsive patient-focused environment.

How did the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation develop?

The field began in the 1930s to address musculoskeletal and neurological problems, but broadened its scope after World War II. As thousands of veterans came back to the United States with serious disabilities, the task of helping to restore them to productive lives became a new direction for the field. The field was granted its approval as a specialty of medicine in 1947.

How is Dr. Purcell especially qualified to perform EMG tests?

Dr.  Joseph Purcell has achieved board certification in electrodiagnostic medicine from the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM) and is an ABEM Diplomate.   The designation of ABEM Diplomate demonstrates that Dr. Purcell has obtained specific training and passed a comprehensive written and oral examination to demonstrate competency in electrodiagnostic evaluation of disorders of the neuromuscular system.  Physicians who practice electrodiagnostic medicine diagnose and manage individuals who have medical problems related to muscle and nerve disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and neuropathies, just to name a few.  The most common electrodiagnostic tests include EMG and nerve conduction studies.  The American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine is the national certifying body for physicians specializing in electrodiagnostic medicine. It was established in 1989 to maintain the high standards required for electrodiagnostic certification and promote high quality patient care.  Dr. Purcell is a member of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) and as a Diplomate of the ABEM is granted Fellow status with AANEM, the international association dedicated to advancing neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic medicine.

Got your own question?

Call our office for more information:

(530) 244-4608

Monday-Friday 8am – 5pm PST